WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Jonathan Kanter, a company lawyer and Big Tech critic, to the top antitrust function in the nation, the newest motion in efforts to curb the energy of Silicon Valley giants.
In a 68-to-29 vote, the approval of Mr. Kanter to guide the Justice Department’s antitrust division crammed a key place in the Biden administration. The White House has made clear that it needs to rein in consolidation in American enterprise, particularly amongst highly effective tech corporations like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
His affirmation will go to President Biden for closing approval.
Mr. Kanter has fought Google and different tech giants for years — principally as a lawyer representing rivals such as Microsoft, Uber, Yelp and News Corp. He joins different outstanding critics of Silicon Valley in authorities roles, together with Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, who gained notoriety after writing a paper in regulation college arguing an antitrust idea in opposition to Amazon.
Together, the two antitrust enforcers will lead landmark instances in opposition to Google and Facebook.
It is unclear if Mr. Kanter shall be requested to recuse himself from the Google lawsuit and different investigations that will current a battle of curiosity given his historical past representing rival firms. Amazon and Facebook have requested Ms. Khan, who has by no means labored for a firm, to recuse herself from issues involving them given her public criticisms about the tech giants. The company has stated she wouldn’t recuse herself from actions associated to the corporations.